Carlton Ernest "Pudge" Fisk (born December 26, 1947) is a former Major League Baseball catcher who played for 24 years with both the Boston Red Sox (1969, 1971-1980) and Chicago White Sox (1981-1993). Known by the nickname "Pudge" due to his 6'2", 220 lb frame, he was the first player to be unanimously voted American League Rookie of the Year (1972). He is best known for "waving fair" his game-winning home run in the 12th inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, one of the greatest moments in World Series history. At the time of his retirement in 1993 he held the records for most home runs all-time by a catcher with 351 (since passed by Mike Piazza). A testament to his durability behind the plate, Fisk held the record for most games played at the position of catcher (2,226) until June 17, 2009 when he was surpassed by "Pudge" Iván Rodríguez. Fisk still holds the American League record for most years served behind the plate (24). Fisk was voted to the All-Star team 11 times and won 3 Silver Slugger Awards which is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position. Fisk was known as a fierce competitor, a superb handler of pitchers and a natural on-field leader. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Season 7 Awards - Part I

I spent time over the weekend copying/pasting data off the site to my spreadsheets to calculate Win Shares for Season 7. Instead of posting all my awards here at once, I thought I'd put in an entry for each of the awards. Hopefully, I can get through the MVP, Cy Young and ROY award posts before voting concludes. So, without further ado...

American League MVP

Nominees (from website):
Antonio Chen
Nate Singleton
Phil Graves
Mario Kydd
Placido Ferrer

Chen got off to a slow start, but came on strong as the season progressed. His batting line ended at .322/.416/.724 good for top OPS in the AL. His 61 HR was good for the AL lead; he added 165 RBI and scored 152 runs. Did I mention that he had 95 SB in 101 attempts?! His numbers truly are amazing. Oh, he also played great 2B with .988 FLDPCT, turned 108 DP and had no "-" plays. One last note, I have Wichita at a Park Factor of .924 - good for the second toughest park in the league for offense.

Nate Singleton put together a great season for the Ruby Slippers as well. Singleton doesn't play the tough position that Chen plays, but played a very respectable LF. However, defense is not the key for him. Nate posted a .297/.350/.638 line and led the ML with 172 RBI. He homered 59 times and swiped 37 bases. While impressive, Chen is better on almost any meaningful comparison.

Phil Graves had another very good season for the Jaxsonville jarheads. Graves was a bit of a utility man on defense posting over 400 innings at both 3B and LF while receiving playing time at 2B, RF and CF as well. He didn't really excel at any of the positions. Graves hit 59 homers leading to a .316/.395/.702 batting line. These are very solid numbers, but, again, Chen still has him in just about every category.

The Rookie. Mario Kydd - .343/.408/.635. Pretty good. Kydd had arguably the best rookie season we have seen in this world driving in 135 RBI, scoring 132 runs on 47 HR. Kydd played a respectable 1B, but the pattern emerging is clear. No one is better than Chen.

But, let's look at one more player... Placido Ferrer. Ferrer played DH for Mexico City and put up a batting line of .298/.365/.603. His 47 HR, 125 RBI, 118 R, and 20 SB are all impressive. But, he falls short of Chen (sorry for being a broken record); he doesn't even earn the honor of team MVP according to Win Shares with that honor going to Greg Serra.

So, who is my AL MVP? You guessed it: Antonio Chen. Again.

Chen: 50 Win Shares (41.5 Offense, 8.3 Fielding)
Kydd: 38 WS (35.2 OWS, 2.4 FWS)
Graves: 36 WS (32.7 OWS, 2.9 FWS)
Singleton: 32 WS (29.2 OWS, 2.6 FWS)
Ferrer: 27 WS (27.0 OWS, 0.1 FWS)

Next post will look over the NL MVP candidates. It should be more interesting.

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